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A different view - Slavery.

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Length: 2045 words (5.8 double-spaced pages)
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A different view - Slavery.

Slavery is a topic much written about, especially in nineteenth
century literature. Many books and poems have been written in favor or
against it. Two stories written in the decade before the Civil War,
when the discussion about slavery was at its height, still stand out
today. Herman Melville's Benito Cereno (1855, 1856) and Harriet
Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) both criticize the
institution of slavery, but in a different way. Where Melville is
quite subtle, Beecher Stowe is much more obvious and sentimental.

In Benito Cereno Melville uses irony and the naivety of Captain Delano
as means to criticize slavery. He does this in a very subtle and
tricky way. The reader is misled through the whole story, but that is
only because of Captain Delano's description and misunderstanding of
the situation on the San Dominick. Captain Delano is incapable of
realizing what is really going on onboard. There are several passages
in the story where this comes plainly clear. Melville more or less
apologizes to the reader for this, by explaini...


... middle of paper ...


...a Baym (ed.), The Norton
Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Fifth edition (New York,
London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999), p. 1134, 1135.

[2] Herman Melville, Benito Cereno. In: Nina Baym (ed.), The Norton
Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Fifth edition (New York,
London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999), p.1166

[3] Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin. In: Nina Baym (ed.), The
Norton Anthology of American Literature, Shorter Fifth edition (New
York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999), p. 803

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